Recruiting Voters on Reddit: Social Media for Political Campaigns

    This guest post was written for by Paul DiGiovanni.

    Every campaigning politician should stay up-to-date with where their constituents are spending time online. Each new online platform provides an opportunity for a politician to connect with voters on their territory. This article will focus on reddit, an emerging community website with millions of users. We’ll tell you what you need to know about reddit and how to engage reddit users to attract new voters to your campaign.

    reddit political campaigns

    What is reddit and why politicians should care

    Reddit is a community-based platform where users share news articles, photos, videos, personal experiences, and more. The website is made up of thousands of ‘subreddits’ – niche communities where discussion is limited to a specific topic or genre.

    The most interesting subreddits for politicians to consider are the local subreddits. Almost every city in America has a local subreddit, a community dedicated to your city and local issues. Local subreddits often feature in-depth discussion about specific local issues and civic engagement. Therefore, these communities are ideal places for politicians to monitor and participate.

    Before you make your first reddit submission

    Every politician should gain a full understanding of reddit and how it works before jumping into the conversation. Reddit has strict rules and a code of etiquette that must be followed by everyone. Breaking rules or etiquette could lead to negative comments and possible banishment from reddit. You can read the Beginner’s Guide to Reddit to gain an introductory understanding of the platform.

    Politicians should also be aware that it is difficult to control the conversation on reddit. Negative or even nasty comments are made on reddit, and leaders are often attacked. So make sure you are ready to deal with difficult comments and responses to what you post on reddit.

    How to engage reddit to attract voters

    After you know how reddit works, you can start engaging your local subreddit. Start by reading submissions, voting, and making comments. Build your reputation in the subreddit by contributing to other users’ submissions.

    Once you have become an established ‘lurker’, you can start planning your own submissions. Here are a few submission topics you can use to help build awareness of your campaign:

    • Announce your candidacy
    • Respond to claims made by your opponent
    • Ask a question about an important civic issue
    • Remind redditors to get out and vote

    Avoid posting any official campaign advertisements or messages. These submissions should be made utilizing the reddit advertising platform.

    Engaging reddit after you are elected

    Once you have become an elected official, you should continue to visit your local subreddit to read submissions and interact with users. If a subreddit has been supportive of your campaign, make sure you go back and thank them for their support. Reddit can also be a great place to make important announcements, get feedback on issues, and obtain relevant local news.

    Want to learn more about reddit and how you can leverage the platform as a politician? Read the Politician’s Guide to Reddit. This guide includes specific tips and how-to information to help every politician navigate reddit and build campaign awareness.